Criminal Minds Season 15 Premiere Review: Karma Chameleon

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So, it's not time to put Rossi out to pasture quite yet.

That appeared to be the upshot of Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1  and Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 2.

That's not to say that the BAU's eminence grise didn't have some issues with which to deal. 

Driven Man -- Tall - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1

Tops among those is obsession.

Everett Lynch, "The Chameleon," reminded Rossi of his mortality when Lynch ran rather than killing an unconscious Rossi on Criminal Minds Season 14 Episode 13.

Difficult Situation - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1

So Rossi has spent the last six months on a solo, mostly unauthorized manhunt for Lynch, largely to prove to himself that he's still vital and indispensible.

You would think a newlywed could find something better to do with his time. But instead he was ducking calls from Krystall, who was right to be worried about his behavior.

Rossi was also working on Prentiss's last nerve.

Because of their long relationship, Prentiss had likely given Rossi much leeway to run down any of the leads he might have on the Lynch case.

But, as team leader, Prentiss had to be hypersensitive to agents who may be going off the rails in search of "justice." The series is rife with such instances.

Couple in Limbo - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1

As Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1 opened, Rossi appeared to fall under that description.

Instead of attending one of the those rare fun BAU activities, in this case Matt and Kristy's baby shower, Dave was off checking out a body dump that kinda, sorta fit Lynch's M.O.

Sure, the victim was male, not female, and the skin was removed from the torso, not the face. But close enough for government work.

Rossi was tailoring his profile of Lynch to fit the new case rather than letting the facts determine the direction of the investigation. He wanted Lynch to be involved.

This behavior led Prentiss and most of the BAU to question Rossi's competence, albeit largely inwardly.

Another Chameleon Killing? - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1

Besides, once the cocky coroner Hurst appeared, wasn't it obvious who the new unsub was? I mean, how many local M.E.s have ever stood out on Criminal Minds?

Still, Rossi wasn't totally off base as he pieced together the connection between Hurst and Lynch, even though that revelation came too late and ultimately left J.J. in jeopardy.

At least we found out what The Chameleon had been up to for six months while Rossi was chasing his tail: Planning a breakout for his daughter, Grace.

Grace's trying to win Daddy's approval left J.J. in a pool of her own blood and Reid blaming himself for taking too long to discover that she had been shot.

It was a particularly trying episode for Spencer, between his conflicted feelings about J.J. and his continuing worries about his mother's deteriorating condition.

Host With the Most - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1

Reid regretted the six months he had spent trying to forget that J.J. had blurted out that she loved him while under duress.

That led to the heartwarming soliloquy which Spencer delivered to the unconscious J.J. I feared that Will was going to walk in on that, but fortunately, the writers avoided that trope.

J.J. and Reid finally did talk it out after she woke up. She explained that she has moved on to Will and the boys.

Unfortunately, while Spencer claimed he understood and that they were OK, her confession had awakened feelings in him that he just hadn't been able to tamp down again.

Reid did get a pleasant, if temporary, surprise thanks for Diana's awakening.

Good News - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 2

Thanks for her awakening, Spencer had his beloved mother back in all her glory. He's been stuck in a rut, and she gave him some much-needed advice: to carve out a new identity for himself.

Here's my prediction for series' end: Reid returns to academia and falls for his genius T.A., who has daddy issues.

In the meantime, Spencer still has heartbreak on the horizon, as Diana's recovery promises to be short-lived.

Now, back to the Chameleon case, which is apparently going to linger longer than necessary.

The good news was that Rossi was right to be obsessed with Everett Lynch. The Chameleon is nuts and should be on the BAU's front burner.

Search for a Fugitive -- Tall - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 2

Give Rossi the respect which he's earned.

So Lynch had stayed off the radar just to set a plan in motion to break his daughter out of prison. That almost made him seem human.

Oops. That certainly didn't prove to be the case.

But the biggest question that needed answering was, basically, if Grace was as crazy as her dad, and what was she willing to do to earn his approval.

Unsub's Mother - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1

Grace proved to be just as ruthless as Everett, shooting J.J. and the Fosters and kidnapping her former lover and roommate as a way to get some quick cash for father and daughter to go off the grid.

It should have been clear to Grace that, as meticulous a planner as her father is, he could have found her and built a relationship with her if he had had any interest in doing so.

She might still be alive if she had stayed at that private school enjoying the new life which her grandmother had set up for her.

Matriarch Roberta has become a crucial figure in this saga, and Rossi was right to keep at her to win her over to his side in the pursuit of Everett. She will play an important role in bringing the case to its conclusion.

Important Call - Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 2

To review the Chameleon case, watch Criminal Minds online.

Should Grace have foreseen her fate?

How is Everett going to slip up?

Is he a worthy unsub for the series' final season?

Comment below.

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Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Criminal Minds Season 15 Episode 1 Quotes

"Man is not what he thinks he is. He is what he hides." -- Andre Malraux

Rossi

Reid: I hope it didn't sound like I was dismissing your instincts.
Rossi: And my 40 years of experience?